Puzzled by latest tesco statement on horse meat saga

(18 Posts)
mam29 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:35:53

The latest statement this morning

Tesco: Burger supplier used meat not from approved suppliers
Tesco says that its investigation into how horse DNA was found in three of its frozen beef burger lines has found that its supplier used meat from outside the UK and Ireland.

The evidence tells us that our frozen burger supplier, Silver crest, used meat in our products that did not come from the list of approved suppliers we gave them.

Nor was the meat from the UK or Ireland, despite our instruction that only beef from the UK and Ireland should be used in our frozen beef burgers.

Consequently we have decided not to take products from that supplier in future.

We took that decision with regret but the breach of trust is simply too great.

– TIM SMITH, TESCO GROUP TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Silver crest huge supplier and why would they jeopardise such huge contract and they deny blame.

If its not irish or british which country is it from?
who was the supplier to silver crest
was it safe deemed fit for human consumption.

I thourght the food standards agency said it came from protein fillers from europe so ground up horse bones maybe not horse meat as term was dna 29% in tesco only. I just assumed Tesco used addition fillers than other retailers.

house commons discussing later but something doesnt seem right.
Hope Tesco and silver crest get a grilling but reckon if was unsafe they will never risk telling us will be covered up.

Baffled me when y they declared safe not knowing where came from in the first place but damage is done.

niceguy2 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:48:38

I'm guessing Silvercrest found a cheaper supplier in the EU than in the UK. Given the cost pressures which suppliers to supermarkets are under, it must have been very tempting to switch.

But as the old adage goes 'you get what you pay for'

It wasn't Tesco/Silvercrest who announced it. It was a separate study so they didn't get the chance to cover it up. I'm sure if they could have, they would have.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:53:09

'Unsafe' when it comes to meat products is defined by bacterial content, residue levels, temperature integrity, that kind of thing. The products regularly passed those tests and it was only when the Irish FSA tested the DNA that they found the product was not beef. So it's not particularly irrational to say the product was safe, even if the origin was not fully understood.

Beaaware Wed 30-Jan-13 15:54:01

mam29, if you knew what went on during the bse scandal you would be horrified, lies, corruption, I will not be at all surprised if we are never told the truth about this horse meat scandal, too much at stake, the meat industry for one.

Narked Thu 31-Jan-13 01:33:38

Basically, you have no idea what's in processed meat products that you pick up from a supermarket shelf. They don't know. They have contracts with companies in other countries to make the product. Those companies are supplied by several other companies - who in turn may buy from many different sources. When you're looking at 'protein powder' used to bulk out meat or a mush of finely minced meat, who knows what's in it?

I'm back to what my Grandmother used to do 50 odd years ago - go to the butchers, pick a piece of meat and have them mince it in front of you. Even if you buy a whole chicken so you know what you're getting, who the hell knows what they've been feeding it. If we've ended up with 20% or more horse in burgers how well do you think they're regulating animal feed?

Narked Thu 31-Jan-13 01:35:54

Cogito there may have been eg drug residue in the meat that they weren't testing for because it's not relevant to beef.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 31-Jan-13 07:54:04

The Irish FSA said at the outset that there was not a food safety risk. I would take that to mean that the products had passed residue and other standard safety tests and the DNA was the joker in the pack.

poachedeggs Thu 31-Jan-13 08:03:03

Cogito residue testing looks for specific drugs, which have set MRLs (maximum residue limits) to ensure safety. If you are using meat from another species then no MRL has been set so even if it had been tested the results are irrelevant.

The species point is a good one. Many drugs are used in horses but not cattle. Residues of a drug can only be found if someone looks for them.

UK horses should all have passports declaring drug use and preventing them from entering the food chain but this system is highly fallible IME.

lljkk Thu 31-Jan-13 08:06:17

But what about Bute, and other chemical residues they don't test for because those animals should never enter the human food chain anyway? I think it's disingenuous to claim no health risk.

poachedeggs Thu 31-Jan-13 08:10:31

I should clarify that I don't expect any health risk arising from residues to be significant. But it's wrong that it and wrong that it nightmight not be fully inveinvestigated.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 31-Jan-13 08:14:11

I can't imagine that, having tested samples for DNA and found them to be completely the wrong animal, the Irish FSA would have held back testing the same samples for every chemical residue under the sun..... can you?. They were already looking at product withdrawal and at least one meat company going out of business. No reason to soft-pedal whatsoever.

lubeybooby Thu 31-Jan-13 08:20:36

Silvercrest used some meat 'filler' from Poland. There was something about it on BBC news website yesterday.

poachedeggs Thu 31-Jan-13 10:52:03

The point is that we know what drugs are permitted for use in food-producing animals in the UK. Horses here are not considered food producing animals and therefore the meat is likely to have been sourced from outwith the country.

If its provenance is unknown then who knows what residues might be in it. There isn't one "residues test", you have to look for specific drugs.

It's not a concern to me personally but there is every chance that the products used to make those burgers would not meet UK requirements anyway, horse or not.

Pixel Fri 01-Feb-13 16:30:45

My horse's passport has a box ticked to say that he must not go for human consumption, but that's because I don't want him to, not because I've been given any safety reason why he shouldn't iyswim. Every time he has a vaccination it has to be marked on the passport by the vet but no other drugs do. Anyway, the vaccination thing is only so there is proof he has been done if he went to shows or anything, just replacing the old vaccination card we used to get as far as I'm aware, not anything to do with a possible future as a Tesco burger.

Writehand Mon 04-Feb-13 18:39:23

I hear Tescos have brought out some new economy meat balls.

Apparently they're the dog's bollocks. smile

Beaaware Tue 05-Feb-13 22:31:41

lljkk, you are right to ask what about Bute and other chemical residues, I watched the main news tonight and still no one is admitting fault or whether there has been any serious risk to public health. This story has been going on for a couple of weeks now and I suspect no one is going to admit that there is a risk to public health, why, because it will damage business and the meat trade, also the government will be fearful of compensation claims if people start developing diseases or illnesses related to horse medicines such as Bute.
No one is going to admit liability, it will all die down. This story is very similar to the bse scandal, John Gummer went on TV to tell us that 'Beef was safe to eat' John Major told a family of victim who died from human mad cow disease that ' I should make it clear that humans do not get mad cow disease', when they did the government offered generous compensation payouts, and still do to this day.

ATJabberwocky Fri 15-Feb-13 10:57:54

I find the whole thing very worrying, for those of us who can't afford organic/free-range produce the media's suggestion of buy from your local butcher is not very helpful when you have lots of hungry mouths to feed.

I suppose the truth is you will never know where the products you buy come from unless you grow them yourself, which for the majority of us is as unrealistic as finding the time inclination to cook a full family meal from scratch every night.

Most of all the fact the supermarkets are being left to test their own products does not exactly instill me with confidence.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Feb-13 12:25:25

"for those of us who can't afford organic/free-range produce "

You don't have to go organic, free-range or grow things yourself etc to be sure what you're eating is as safe as possible. Being very familiar with supermarket testing procedures I have a lot more faith in them than many. Conventionally produced wholefoods are very easy to judge by eye/nose and very difficult to adulterate or contaminate. That's things like veggies, fruit, whole muscle meat (meat in a lump), fish, grains, pulses, nuts..... often the cheapest things on the shelves because there's no fancy organisation behind them investing a fortune in fancy packaging, advertising and no lengthy supply chain either.

And you don't have to cook from scratch every night. Make a large amount of something Day 1 and reheat it Day 2 means one effort covers two meals.

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